Seaside Chic: 5 Coastal Accessories to Add Summery Style to Any Space

Seaside Chic: 5 Coastal Accessories to Add Summery Style to Any Space

Cate West Zahl
May 31, 2012

Just because you don't live by the sea doesn't mean you can't add a touch of coastal style to your space. In small doses, seaside decor can make your interior feel appropriate for summer weather without verging into full on beach house style. Here are some elements we love:

1. Nautical Maps – There's something obvious about, say, sailboat wheels or anchor motifs. But the subtlety of nautical maps is a sophisticated way to pay homage to the ocean. Homeowners Harriet Maxwell MacDonald and Andrew Corrie framed a local map of Shelter Island in their modern scandinavian beach house (1), a nice way to incorporate a sense of location within their space. Or you can pair a modern table with a technical chart (2) for a light and airy aesthetic.

2. Palm Fronds – Your locale doesn't have to be in the Caribbean in order to utilize palm plants or cut palm fronds. For a dramatic look, do what India Hicks did in her Harbour Island residence (3) and put large cut palm fronds in oversized vases. To achieve a sleek vibe, do what designer Blaire Gordon did in this Key West kitchen (4) : take a single palm frond and place it prominently in a modern vase.

3. Coral – It's a trend that's still going strong in the design world. Adding touches of natural curiosities to your tablescapes bring an organic, uniquely seaside aesthetic. And coral is slightly less blatant then shell collections, which can verge into tacky territory. Joan, from the blog For the Love of a House, intentionally adds fan coral to her mantel (5) in the summertime. If displaying coral on the mantel feels too overt, casually incorporate it into your coffee table display (6).

4. Straw Hats – Chances are you own a few straw hats that you only really wear at the beach or in the garden. Why not put them on display? Either stagger a few choice hats (7) on the wall or pile a bunch of them together in an artful grouping (8).

5. Sailor or Fisherman Art – Some call it kitsch, others see it as playful decor. Regardless, there's a lot of funny fisherman art out there complete with the sailor pipes and full bearded portraits of burly men at sea. For a sophisticated take on this theme, pair a sailor painting with a rustic frame (10) like designer Ken Faulk did in his Massachusetts cottage. Or go the whimsical, humorous route and take a kitschy fisherman portrait and put in the context of your formal living space the way Lauren Liess did in her house (9).

(Images: 1. House Beautiful, 2. Design Public, 3. Living Livelier, 4. Costal Living, 5. For the Love of a House, 6. Lou Lou's Decor, 7. Shelterness, 8. House of Marlowe, 9. Pure Style, 10. House Beautiful)

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